For…a long time, I’ve wanted to own a set of hobbit clothes, so that I could be a fun and fancy hobbit lady whenever I wanted. I know that for some of you, I won’t have to explain this urge, but for the rest of you, I’ll try. It starts with a sofa bed.
In the house I grew up in, in the basement, there was a sofa bed in front of the TV that we kids were allowed to use whenever we wanted. I have a twin sister and a little sister who is two years younger than me. In a way, we grew up as a set, always in each other’s business in watching the same things. This was in part due to this TV being our primary window into the world, and the fact that we had to share it. It also didn’t help that, when our mom took us to Blockbuster, we were allowed to pick out one VHS between the three of us, and we were supposed to watch it together.
That sofa bed held a lot of sleepovers, some begrudging, others less so. One Friday, my twin sister managed to convince me and our little sister to go along with renting Fellowship of the Ring. We went home, folded out the sofa bed, and laid down next to each other, with our heads at the foot of the bed, studying the screen, as Galadriel gave a voice-over over blackness, as we learned the history of this world, and how it faded into the rolling green hills of the Shire.
My sisters and I were all transformed that night, and ever since, we’ve all loved Lord of the Rings. My little sister has a tattoo, now, of the Tree of Gondor; my twin likes buying large swords. For my part, I walked down the aisle at my wedding to “Concerning Hobbits,” in a public park, in bare feet.
Something about that world sunk into us, laying on that sofa bed in that dark basement one Friday night, and it’s never left. There’s something incredibly personal about hobbits, about their ways and clothes and adventures. Hobbits feel like home.
So when I started sewing as a hobby, I knew that one day, I’d be making myself a set of hobbit clothes. Not a costume, not really; but my own little capsule wardrobe of hobbity garb. If I was going to be a hobbit, I was going to be a hobbit from the curls on my head to my bare furry feet. I knew it’d be detailed, and that I, frankly, needed to be a better sewer, so I kept it in the back of my mind. I’ve now been sewing for three years–just enough to feel like I know something, or that I know how to know something. And there’s a pandemic on. I, frankly, need an overly complicated, long-term project to help me stress less about the absolute insanity of the world.
I started officially planning last week, and so far, I’ve made a fairly insane looking document in Google Docs.
I’ve also made a few key decisions:
- I will be a lady hobbit of my own creation; I’m not cosplaying any of our favorite hobbits, or a lady version of such, or Lobelia Sackville-Baggins, or somesuch.
- That said, I’m not going to make a wardrobe meant to be worn by an extra; I, and my lady hobbit, are the protagonist of our own story, and we like adventures as much as Bilbo Baggins.
- I am going to take heavy inspiration from historical clothing, but I’m not going to be historically accurate by any means. Hobbit clothing is sort of roughly inspired by clothing from the 18th and 19th centuries, but it’s obviously not exactly accurate, and I’m not going to be accurate either. I’m no Bernadette Banner.
- I am going to have fun. If I am not having fun, I will fix the project so that I do have fun.
I haven’t started anything other than the planning document, but I’m going to be blogging my process as I go forward. Hopefully, this will be interesting to you, or if it isn’t, well, you can read something else, can’t you?
I’ll see you on the road.
Talk to me about all this and more on Twitter @yipp33kiyay.